Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “I am the vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Thought of the Day- The 15th chapter of the gospel of John is one of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible, because it uses the analogy of the Vineyard to make it’s point and I happen to be a person who loves grapes and the wine they produce, in moderation of course! Jesus is using the Vineyard analogy because it was one that most people in His time could relate to, being that most people lived off the land. He sets the hierarchy straight right off the bat and He makes it perfectly clear that He is the Vine, He alone is responsible for the abundance of all good fruit, and we are the branches. Branches that are not connected to the vine are worthless, and no matter how good they look at a given time, they are destined to wither away and die, for they can no longer bear any fruit if they are separated from the Vine. Branches bear the fruit, they don’t produce the fruit. Branches don’t burn themselves out trying to produce good fruit, it comes as a natural byproduct of being connected to the Vine. The same is true in our lives. Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches. Our connection is all that is required for good fruit to be produced. We don’t need to struggle or strive, we simply need to abide.
Proverbs 10:22 promises “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,without painful toil for it.” John 15:8 says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” This gives me great hope that God the Father will be glorified if I bear much good fruit. So what is my responsibility? To abide in Him who is the vine, Jesus Christ. I must have proper alignment that puts Him first in my life. This means I seek Him and His truth above all else. His wisdom and word must be the defining truth in my life. Abide means “to remain or continue in a particular condition, attitude or relationship.” In this case, we must remain in relationship with Christ if we expect to bear much good fruit. He leads and we follow. In order for us to bear an abundance of fruit for God’s kingdom, pruning will be required from time to time. Pruning can be a painful experience in the short term, but in the long term it prepares the branches for a much larger and more abundant harvest. Pruning removes growth that is dead or dying to encourage new fruit to develop. He is the Vine and we are the branches, so we must grow our faith through this pruning process. He will remove, or prune away anything that interferes in our relationship so that we can bear more fruit in the future. In essence, a part of us ( self ) must die so that a new better part can come to produce even more fruit (Spirit ) in the future.
Our busyness on things that don’t really matter and only serve to distract us will be removed. In their place, an abundance of fruit that comes from abiding in Him will come to be harvested. The grapes that come from our abiding will lead to an abundant harvest, the fullest and sweetest we have ever tasted. Our connection to the Vine will result in an abundant harvest at the proper time. We must wait for it and not fall away. For all good harvests take time to come to fruition.